The German book industry has been shocked by the sudden and unexpected death of Stefan Lübbe. The publisher and majority shareholder of Bastei Lübbe died on Monday at the age of 57 while on a business trip to France.
A banker by profession, Stefan Lübbe took over the helm of family-owned Baste Lübbe when his father who founded the publishing house in 1949, died in 1995. He was the driving force in transforming Bastei Lübbe from a moderately successful trade publisher into an innovative powerhouse with strong interests in digital publishing under the helm of Bastei Entertainment. His vision for Bastei Lübbe was that of a multi-dimensional media company that utilizes its contents through as many channels and formats as possible.
In October 2013 he took the company to the Frankfurt stock exchange. While he remained the majority shareholder and was involved in all major decisions, he handed the operational running of the company over to the board after the IPO. His widow Birgit Lübbe will now take over as the family representative.
Bastei-Lübbe is well-known for its plethora of bestselling authors that include Dan Brown, David Baldacci and Ken Follett whose Kinder der Freiheit currently heads the bestseller lists. Last year it turned James Bowen’s A Street Cat Named Bob into a bestselling title of equal proportions to the UK. One of the flagship authors of its children’s book imprint Baumhaus is Jeff Kinney.